Scholarships, Fellowships and Government Grants, Oh My!
Nearly every student is eligible to receive free funding for his or her education expenses. Both the U.S. Federal and State Governments, as well as private organizations, offer free money to assist students with paying for a college education.
This is money that never has to be repaid! These free funds come in the form of Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships and also Government Grants. In this article, we will clear up some confusion about what these are and how you can use them to pay for your education.
Your first step should be to obtain a FAFSA document (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can acquire one of these applications from the college you plan to attend or, online by following the steps at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
You will want to fully complete and send in this document by the deadline. For future reference, you will need to do this every year to continue to remain eligible for government funded financial aid. This single application is the key to numerous federally funded programs. Once your application is processed, you will receive a statement in the mail that lets you know how much funding you are eligible for.
If you find out that the amount of funding you qualify for still doesn’t meet your needs, you can pursue additional private and government grants, scholarships and other programs. You can search online for for student grants and scholarships that you may also qualify for. This is often a tedious task, but careful research can uncover some excellent opportunities.
What is the difference between a Scholarship, Fellowship and a Grant?
Scholarships & Fellowships – Scholarships and fellowships are very similar, the term fellowship is generally applied to post graduate studies, while scholarship generally defines undergraduate awards. Scholarships can be funded with either public or private moneys. Oftentimes, you must qualify for a scholarship by having good grades and SAT scores. There are also scholarships that award students for their excellence in sports. You will find that there are also many unusual scholarships and fellowships available that cater to students with various other qualifications.
Government Grants – Government grants for college are government funds set aside to assist people in raising funds for school. There are numerous government grants that students can take advantage of, in conjunction with scholarships to enable you to pay for college. Your best asset here is the FAFSA document, that we discussed earlier.
As you can see, government grants, scholarships and more are available to help you pay for college. All you need to do is due diligence, a bit of paperwork and perhaps some research and you will uncover more funding options than you knew existed.